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Honeymoon Island playground opens
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The new limitless playground at Honeymoon Island Park replaces a playground that was 10 years old and showing signs of corrosion and wear and tear.
DUNEDIN – A new playground at Honeymoon Island is getting a workout.

The $120,000 playground, which is ADA-accessible, was completed in time for a Halloween event at the park.

“We had over 4,000 people come out to the park on two nights, and the playground was absolutely filled with children. They were using every single thing in that playground,” said Diane Hood, who was the Friends of Island Parks chairperson for the playground project.

“It turned out more than my expectations were. As they started building it and adding on to it – I think we made really good choices,” Hood said.

A grand opening event for the limitless playground, featuring climbing walls, swings and covered benches, was held Nov. 17. It replaced a playground that was 10 years old and showing signs of corrosion and wear and tear.

Through a golf tournament and other events the Friends raised money for the project.

“It’s really a nice playground,” said Pete Krulder, park manager. “I think being a limitless playground it’s a great asset for us.”

Anytime a park adds a nice amenity, attendance increases, Krulder said. Honeymoon Island leads the state parks in attendance, with more than a million visitors a year.

“If it wasn’t for the Friends, it wouldn’t have happened. It had been a long time coming for a new playground,” Krulder said.

The Friends are in the process of letting organizations that deal with disabled children know about the park.

The organization, which worked on the playground plans for a couple of years, visited many playgrounds in the county and interviewed parents, children and others and sought ideas from city recreation departments.

The Friends also are making plans for an interpretative center to be built on Caladesi Island. Through exhibits and other means, visitors to the center would learn about the history of the islands, habitat, and beach geology – how the island has changed.
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